A Street Where Cars are Illegal. Yes, it is true.

Can you imagine car free streets!? Ones only meant for buses so that even more people can getting where they need to be, all at once. Imagine if we prioritized things a little differently. A bus can carry 20 people all at one in one vehicle, creating no morning traffic. What if we made our schedule in effort to be better for the environment?

In Downtown Brooklyn Street, Fulton Street is restricted to cars. It is illegal to drive your car on this city street!! Unimaginable to us, but a lesson to be learned and a neat concept to think about. 20,000 people ride daily in that city’s bus system and cars illegally driving on this street create many issues.

Check out this article to learn about this city’s car stopping effort:

https://www.fastcompany.com/90316266/how-smart-city-tech-is-helping-to-keep-cars-from-illegally-driving-on-this-car-free-street?partner=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=feedburner+fastcompany&utm_content=feedburner

Raleigh’s Newest Landmark

I am so proud to be a part of this great development in Raleigh! The Fairweather is Raleigh’s newest architectural landmark. This will be Downtown Raleigh’s first condominiums in over ten years. You know how much we care about walkability here at Urban MJ and the Fairweather takes the cake. Rising from a hilltop in the Warehouse District this dwelling will capture Raleigh’s skyline to treeline views. This is clearly THE new place to be.

Every day in this home will be a celebration of timeless interiors, fine bespoke finishes, tall ceilings, and clean lines. Whether it is a walk with neighbors over to Dorothea Dix Park, 360 rooftop views, or strolling over to your favorite table, this home will be a monumental gem, inside and out. The Fairweather’s unique location and exceptional design offers one of the rarest opportunities to be at home in a true modern architectural landmark. See more details down below!

https://www.fairweatherraleigh.com/

 

The App that could end all Traffic

“You could call Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital, Los Angeles on steroids. More people, fewer roads and less public transit mean massive traffic. The metropolitan area is home to more than 20 million, and while it’s designed to hold only a fraction of that, the number is still growing. Overdevelopment has left it vulnerable to floods, and lacking sidewalks and green spaces. The city, a web of clogged roads, was ranked the most congested city in the world last year by Castrol’s Stop-Start index, which uses GPS satellites to track the number of times that vehicles need to stop. But now that might be changing.” One app in Indonesia is changing the usual flow. GO-JEK is a motorcycle taxi app servicing the people of Jakarta. With 11 million users, the app is cutting down traffic congestion hugely.

What are your thoughts on increasing motorcycle use to help speed up traffic? Do you think that with a higher amount of riders, car drivers would be more alert and safe around motorcyclists?

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/worlds-most-congested-city-finally-shifts-gears/ar-BBRXhL3

Out with the old, in with the Concept

Concept stores are quickly persuading us to trade in the same old same old for a fresh experience, especially when it comes to food & drink. You can drink coffee while cats paw around, eat lobster rolls while also having rolled ice cream, and you can even support a nonprofit by buying lunch at A Place at the Table.

Why simply drink a cup of coffee when you could drink a cup of coffee and also get your motorcycle repaired at the same time? Brilliance. Jammer Cafe in Canada has done just that and the people love it. Who has the next experiential retail idea to share with Raleigh!? We want to hear it.

Check out this concept coffee shop and all it has to offer: https://www.jammercafe.com/

 

The Reinvention of Grocery Stores

How many of you have been in Downtown Urban areas and thought, if there was a grocery store in walking distance I’d be set? I have been in many walkable cities where they seemed to have everything I needed, except for a close place to get fresh produce or specialty items. The demographic of those living in complex in urban areas, are the same demographic that want the type of products carried at stores like The Fresh Market and Whole Foods. Here in the Triangle and in other up and coming cities, there has been total reinvention of grocery stores in urban locations to fill this void for urban residents.

Well-known (and normally huge) grocery chains are beginning to come up with smaller solutions that make sense for walkable locations. We have all seen a Walmart Express a time or two, but now large chains are getting super inventive.

For example, Dollar General recently unveiled its new DGX,a  smaller format store,, to serve busy, metropolitan shoppers with everyday low prices on the essentials they need in a convenient, easy-to-shop format. The store even features items not typically found in quick-trip stores including a carefully-edited assortment of home, electronics and seasonal offerings. Dollar General made cool again. I am here for it. The Raleigh location has been extremely successful. Not only is it a fresh and new concept for the area, but services the quick needs of those who are on-the-go.

Photo by: New Raleigh

There are also many new market concept locations popping up in cities Raleigh and Durham. Weaver Street Market, which started in Carrboro, NC, is now opening a Raleigh location in January of 2019. The 12,600-square-foot store will be located at The Dillon. Weaver Street Market is a worker- and consumer-owned cooperative selling natural and organic food with a focus on local and fair trade products. Weaver St. prides itself on being “community owned” and hosts many community wide events.

In Durham, Bulldega Market is opening. Bulldega is a family owned and operated grocery store that will be located in the heart of downtown Durham across the street from City Hall. This market will provide access to local produce and humanely raised meat, along with those everyday household items that you can’t live without. One driving value of this family market is healthy, sustainable eating at accessible prices. They will also have ready-to-eat lunches for a quick bite or those taking their lunch break.

Photo by: Sweet Tea and Pasta

These unique chain store spin-offs and family owned markets with a passion for local, have completely revitalized the grocery options for those in developing cities. Fresh, local food has been much needed for Downtown areas and I can’t wait to see these concepts flourish.

Be sure to check out their sites for more information!

Bulldega:  http://www.bulldega.com/

Weaver St. :  https://www.weaverstreetmarket.coop/

Tiny Home Runs on Dunkin’

Tiny homes are springing up everywhere! People are starting to save more energy when it comes to living and even more than just sharing one car. Tiny homes can be an unexpected surprise when you look inside. Sometimes you don’t realize how much you really need. Staying in a fun themed one through Airbnb is the perfect way to experience tiny home life if you aren’t ready to make the full switch!

They say America runs on Dunkin, and now so does this tiny home. You can now rent this Dunkin themed tiny home for $10 a night in MA. Check out the article to learn more!

https://www.curbed.com/2018/10/24/18017600/tiny-house-dunkin-donuts-coffee?fbclid=IwAR2JnESrTjboeNA5YHr-lwAtC0OKoTLbvspRdxFNZRL_RBlxaqUoT6EIOIs

 

 

 

The 10 top emerging trends that will shape real estate in 2019

“Will technology offer more opportunity and enhance competition and efficiency, or help consolidate the industry and drive out smaller players? How will shifts in demographics and shopping patterns challenge current investment practices? Will the U.S. ever get a grip on its housing affordability issues?”
 
Check out these real estate mega trends that will impact continued urban revitalization:

https://www.curbed.com/2018/10/10/17959984/real-estate-trends-2019-housing-affordability-investment 

Looking for a Quiet Neighborhood? Look no further

Home buying under a tight budget? Try near a cemetery. Don’t we all love quiet neighbors? Homes within a quarter mile from cemetaries are significantly cheaper. Don’t worry, just because it is cheaper doesn’t mean you’re bound to be haunted. Due to demand elasticity, it is just nature to choose the homes away from the graves, making those more expensive. Still a tad nervous or superstitious? Check out the article below.

 

https://www.citylab.com/life/2018/10/looking-affordable-housing-try-near-cemetery/573895/?fbclid=IwAR3yCZ3N6Mg6KH3vcT_RSc_lyfBNUnrWIWQxNgT27mKerAXeTk-J73-dV1sc

Urban Farming: Lend a Local Hand in Raleigh

Mom always said to “eat your greens”, well wouldn’t she be even more proud if you helped grow them? Our lovely, local urban farms give the community an opportunity to do just that. Locals can go to their local farm to help all along the growing and harvesting process.

Urban farming has changed the game for the “farm to table” trend. Many local restaurants and cafes pride themselves on serving meals with local grown components and ingredients.

 

The Raleigh City Farm

Photo by: Visit Raleigh

Located on a 1 acre plot of land in vibrant Downtown Raleigh, Raleigh City Farm is the perfect place to lend a hand. Their produce is sold weekly to many restaurants and chefs in the area. Raleigh City Farm’s principal farmer, James, studied culinary arts and moved back to Raleigh to dig deeper into the food industry, down to the roots. On their website, you can sign up to volunteer to get your hands dirty in the garden or help with the events they host. Typically there is plenty of weeding to be done, prepping beds/composting, and mowing/weed-whacking. They are currently hosting two ongoing volunteer days:  Wine+Weeds on Wednesdays (6-7pm) and Saturday Work Days (9am-12 noon). Wine and Weeds is a weekly weeding party every Wednesday (April – October). Just show up for the perfect wind down Wednesday.

You can also schedule a group work day for family, friends, or coworkers via email.

Sign up here: https://raleighcityfarm.org/getinvolved/volunteer/

 

Triangle Urban Farm

This Apex urban farm uses a unique and sustainable growing system. One couple with a passion, Kim and Nick, are on a mission to inspire, empower, teach and provide. “It starts with food. Plant a seed and watch it grow.”

They want everyone to know that anyone can have access to and benefit from fresh, whole food. Triangle Urban Farm is “on a mission to grow better, grow greener and grow happier. One person, one family, one community at a time; they are going to change the world through food.”

All of the farms plants are sprouted from non-GMO, organic and heirloom seeds. You can currently find their produce used at A Place at the Table and 18 Seaboard. They LOVE to educate- shoot them an email for a tour or to learn how to get involved!

Supporting local farms helps grow our city’s economy and supports wellness. When you truly understanding the growing of our food and get to see seed to produce what it takes, it leaves a person with appreciation for whole foods and the motivation to eat more of them! There is nothing more rewarding than knowing (or being) the hand that grew your food.

The Bird Scooter Craze: Why We Love It

If You’re a Bird, I’m a Bird

If you have been anywhere near Downtown Raleigh, then I am sure you’ve seen the latest craze to hit the streets…SCOOTERS.

Image result for bird scooter

Photo By: Bird Scooter

I remember when I first saw two or three friends on scooters riding by when I was sitting outside Raleigh TImes enjoying a nice sangria and chicken taco. I thought, “Wow they’re so hip, riding through the streets of Downtown on a motor scooter. I wish I had a motor scooter.” At the time, I thought it was just some people bringing out their old motor scooters from out of their garage, being quite original. Then, after that day, the Bird scooter trend seemed to explode. As I scrolled through social media that week, pictures of people on scooters was a great percentage of what I was seeing and an informational post from Offline Media let me know how I could ride one too.

From the Cameron Village and Hillsborough St. area, all the way to Downtown, anyone can hop on a Bird scooter and pay per minute to travel to your apartment or next meal. The app charges you $1 to get started and fifteen cents per minute after that.

Now, I am sure most of you have experienced the Bird scooter in one way or another. Whether you’ve actually rode or just seen them zooming by, it’s a pretty common Downtown sight, BUT let’s talk about the new buzz surrounding Bird in Raleigh….safety and regulations.

Some recent articles are discussing the possible removal of Bird scooters due to safety concerns, but I think these safety issues are a hurdle that could be easy to clear. Some education, driving experience, and safe driving could easily eliminate the concerns. Maybe scooters should come with helmets, maybe age limits should be in place, or maybe some people should be a little less daring, these are easy sacrifices to allow these scooters a safe presence in our city.

Why we support the Bird:

  • Creates more space- Our city allows so much space for vehicles. Let’s share space so people will drive more scooters!
  • Better for the environment- Scooters are ⅓ the size of a car, which means they release that much less pollution. Compare a 3000 lbs automobile to a 30 lbs e-scooter; the difference is huge.  We all know driving scooters is better for the environment than taking your car, especially if you’re only going somewhere 5 minutes away. Don’t be that extra.
  • A helping hand to those without vehicles- Ever had your car broken down? It’s the worst. If you’re near a Bird scooter, you’re free as a bird to roam and be free. Also, for families who have chosen to only have one car, these scooters could help make travel easier
  • They make our city even more pedestrian friendly! 

Let’s face it…cars cause a lot of unhealthy pollution for our city, so reducing where we can is key! These scooters are also important to the all important “last half mile.” Your home is rarely a quarter mile or closer to public transit, so if you can hop on a scooter to get to the bus or Light Rail Station (in the future for Orange and Durham County), then you might take transit much more, staying out of your car, saving money AND the environment!

Most trends scoot in and out of popularity quite quickly, but I believe these scooters are here to stay. We’re here for it! They create a fun environment for the community and make shopping local more accessible. C’mon you’re not cool if you’re not zipping around on a Bird scooter.

 

 

 

Cover Photo by Quartz

https://qz.com/1257198/xiaomi-makes-the-bird-and-spin-scooters-taking-over-san-francisco/